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Chapter Three


Education, regardless of the level, stage and the mode of it,

necessitates the presence of teacher, student and the effective

communication of a message between these two. History of mankind, as

well as that of education, stands testimony to the fact that advances in

technology have powered paradigmatic shifts in education. But, the shift

in educational paradigms in favour of open and distance learning have

been triggered not only by the technology driven possibtlities and

potential, but also by ideological and economic imperatives. Distance

education, in its crude form owes to the efforts of the lgthcentury adult

education activists of U.S, who encouraged studies at home for women to

reap the educational benefits for all classes of the society. For decades,

together the validity, relevance and subshtutability of distance education

to regular mode of education has been seriously doubted and debated.

Even now a days, it is being debated vigorously. I n the early 1930s

Chicago University survey on distance education suggested that

correspondence education can be justified on an experimental basis,

generating innovative research leading to improvements in teaching

methodology. Along with mail delivery, visual and audio media were

incorporated to the delivery system. The popularity and effectiveness of

instructional radio led to the introduction of television as an instructional

media by the mid 2orn century. Academic research and studies were
focused on the effectiveness of various media of instruction, learners'

characteristics, student's needs, effectiveness of communication, value of

outcomes in comparison with face-to -face study etc. Alt these efforts in

this direction genuinely contributed towards strengthening the resource

base of distance education, By the end of World War I1 television became

the most popular media of instruction in distance education programmes


Despite the efforts of leaders in the field of distance education,

correspondence study struggled to gain acceptance and it was still seen as

suspect by academics. Research and studies on the various aspects of

distance education have contributed towards furthering the acceptance of

distance education and extension of it. One important thing to be noted is

that little research existed to support the apparent and perceived

strengths of methodology and there was little sense of professionalism.

The role of international age,ncies like Ford Foundation in strengthening

the base of distance education is noteworthy. Sixties and seventies

witnessed quantum jumps in the field of distance education globally due

to the rapidly escalating cost of traditional education, interest in non

traditional and informal education, increase in the mobile population due

to the variations in the employment structure, growth of career oriented

activities, necessity of learning competencies, public dissatisfaction with

educational institutions in general and the early success of Britain's Open


The emergence of Britain's Open University has been a landmark in

the history of distance education. It has brought a new vision of

independence to distance education as distinct from traditional education

and played a crucial role in the development of much of the important

research in distance learning, as the largest and most innovative

educational organization in the world. It is regarded as the pace setter in

the large-scale application of technology to facilitate distance learning and

it has brought the needed respect and confidence to the correspondence

programme around the world. The success of British open university has

led to the origin and development of open universities in other countries

such as America and Japan. The British Open University has proved that

distance Iearning can overcome the restrictive concept of place and time,

but also can eliminate the boundary of nations and nationalities. As per

the latest available statistics Britain's Open University has an enrollment of

218.000 people and it offers degree, P.G and professional courses

including research degrees like PhD and M.Phil. Being inspired by the

success of British experiment, the first United States Open Universllj, New

York State's Empire College commenced operation in 1971 with the

purpose of making higher education degrees accessible to learners unabte

to attend traditional programmes and campus based courses.

Two luminaries in the fields of distance education are Charles

Wedemeyer of the University of Wisconsin and Gayle Childs of the

University of Nebraska. Wedemeyer and Child have made major

contribution towards the professionalisation of distance education. During

the last three decades spanning from 1950s onwards, they were the

leaders, directing the national and international growth of this method of

teaching and learning.

The Seventies and eighties witnessed the emergence of epoch

making innovation of the concept of "Distance education" and new media

like cable and satellite finks were used for the delivery of study rnderiais

posing challenges to traditional independent study, forcing a

reexamination and redefinition of the place of independent study in the

new environment. Women's desire and participation in distance learning

helped the growth of distance education in 1980s and 1990s. Survey

among participants has shown that more than 67 per cent were women.

Participation of women in distance education was directly related to

political and social changes in women's position within the family and

society, technological changes in the work place, and the necessrty of

participation and jab market and new job opportunities. The research
activities of British Open University provided new directions and

emphasise for more research in this field. With the increase in demand

far distance education, the growing concern were knowledge about the
effectiveness of distance education and changes in pedagogy enabled and

required by the advancement of technology. An area that remains gray is

the effectiveness of distance learning and it is in this pivotal area that

more research is needed. In this context, Wo scholarly positions that

stand poles apart need to be mentioned. One prominent opinion is that

media forms are mere vehicles that deliver the materials and hardly they

influence the student achievements. Secondly, in contrast to this, it is

believed that, it is not media, but variables such as instructional method

that foster distance learning. Even with the amazing growth of research n

the fields of distance education, few studies attempted to examine the

student experiences, effectiveness of instructional methods, and strengths

and limitations of this model of teaching and learning.

The historical evolution of distance education can be divided in t o

four telescopical stages as explained below.

1. Correspondence and Independent Study

2. Open Universities

3. Broad Casting and Tele-conferencing

4. Multi Media and Net working

Correspondence and Independent Study

This is the oldest form of distance education that prevailed during

1890s in which education has been imparted through the use of print

materials distributed through mail. This form of distance education

prevails wen today in many of the institutes of India, along with the most

modern delivery devices like computer and multimedia.

Open Universities

The development of open universities were due to the increasing

desire to use more media, especially radio an television in distance

learning courses, and the imperative of opening up higher education to a

larger percentage of the population. The basic idea of this approach was

that by using various media and eliminating entrance requirements,

college level courses and degrees could be offered at an affordable price

to many more people. The British Open University was the first institution

to be put this form of distance education into practice. Now a days there

are dozens of open universities around the world.

Broadcasting and Teleconferencing

Educational broad casting has been practiced in the U.S since early

in the 2 0 ~c e n t u ~ . Radio entered into the field of educational

broadcasting in 1920s and television in the year of 1950. But it did not

became a common component of it education tilt 1970s. By that time,

audio conferencing became a part of distance education programmes in a

number of universities. The mid 70s witnessed the widespread use of

satellites and teleconferencing. This system required huge investments

and large group of students for becoming economically viable.

Multi Media and Net working

With the advent of computer technology and widespread use of

computers at home and workplaces, two new forms of technology became

viable for education purposes. Multimedia especially CDROM and

computer networks helped to distribute large amounts of course materials

in a more cost effective manner. Computer networks allow courses to take

advantage of ernail and computer conferencing. Apart from the fact that

these two represent ways of imparting more information and provide

more interaction among students and instructors than previous


The Concept of Distance education

The concept of distance education, though formulated recently, has

caught the attention, if not imagination, of the planners all over the world.

It seems to be an answer to the tremendous educational and

development problems faced by countries determined to bring the

benefrts of higher education to those who desire or seek it. Though

distance education has been popularised in all countries developed and

developing, socialist and capitalist, western and eastern, it is still " tittle
known and little studied" (Keegan, D 1986)'. As Keegan points out, " even

a cursory reading of educational literature shows that distance systems

are usually ignored. It merits not a paragraph in most volumes of

educational philosophy, in guides to administrative process or in analysis

of didactic strategy". However, its importance is being realized all over the

world, and certainty in developing countries, more by the policy makers

than by the educationists. (Rarnanujam, P.R 1988: Koul, M.L 1987)' hat is

Distance education Multiple terms are used to connote distance education

and the term Distance education conveys multiple meanings. A variety of

synonyms of it are familiar to us. viz; 'Correspondence Education', 'Home

Study', 'Independent Study', 'External Studyr, 'Off Campus Study, 'Open

Learning', 'Open Education' etc. In some countries, the term

'Correspondence Education' is widely used. But, it has increasingly being

replaced by the term 'Independent Study' in North America. Home study

is some times used to describe correspondence programmes of private

schoots in North America and Europe. I n France, it is known as 'Tele-

Ensignment' or 'Fernunterricht'. In Spanish speaking countries, it is

described as 'Education at a Distance' 'Of- campus' is the term which is

popularly used for Distance education in Australia. 'Mra-mural' refers to

Distance education in New Zeeland. These terms have came in to vogue

because of the historical circumstances in various countries.
I n India, We have been using three terms, "External Appearance'

(Private Appearance) 'Correspondence Education' and 'Distance

education'. Under external appearance, a universrty permits a student to

take the examination as a private candidate and if he/she passes, degrees

are granted. Hence, it cannot be regarded as distance education. The

student is on his own and very often at the mercy of the mercenary

tutorials institutions. Since, the universities do not give any education,

what is being done under external appearance can best be called 'private

study' but not Distance education, The second, correspondence education,

has been quite popular in this country. Lately, some of h e m have

designated themselves as Distance education and open university


The concept, methodology and mode of operation, on which

Distance education operates distinctly distinguish it from the traditional

educational system. It operates mainly on three concepts. The first,

being learner centeredness, Second, learner autonomy, i.e. very

minimum provision of face-to-face interaction. Third is the education in

real life setting. It is usual to confuse the terms correspondence

education' (CE), Distance Education (DE) and Open Education (OE) with

the other.

It is true that openness to methodology is a characteristic of

distance education, but, it should be noted that 'non-distance education'

or 'face-to-face education' also may use 'open' methodologies. More over,

distance education, is possible without being open. Distance education is

an expression which officially replaced the earlier term 'correspondence

education' in the 1 2 World

~ Conference at the Internationai Council for

Correspondence Education, held in Canada in 1982. Since then the council

was renamed as the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE).

The expression marks a deviation from the earlier distribution-strategy-

based nomenclature to the nomenclature representative of spatial and

temporal relationship between the sources of education and receiver of

the education.

Correspondence education refers to the traditional type of

education given mainly through printed materials, by the postal system.

Thus, correspondence education is basically a name based on the mode of

distribution of didactic materials and of effecting interaction, if needed,

between the teacher and the taught.

Distance education refers to non-traditional innovative type of

education that uses all the possible means of communication, the postal

system, being only one of them. Distance education is oriented towards

pedagogy. It tries to build the teacher in the materials. The use of

advanced communication technology is the essential characteristic of

distance education.
Open Education refers to that kind of non-conventional education

which has been weaning away from the conventional constraints that

characterise the rational school/college/unive~~~

education. This change

is of the kind that was experienced a few centuries ago when sectarian

education yielded to liberal education. This change was essentially

curriculum-based. Now, liberal education is yielding to open education.

This change is both curricular and organizational in nature. The

relationship between distance education and Open education is that Open

education is Open. Education can be imparted easily through distance

education systems on the one hand and on the other hand advances in

the practice of distance education help and encourage education to

become more and more open. Naturally, the two go together, and

therefore, the visible overlap. (IGNOU, Stride, E.S, 311)

Definition of Distance education.

Distance education has been defined by several writers.

Wedemeyer (1977) has used the terms 'Open Learning', 'Distance

Learning' and 'Independent Study' in his works, but, favors, the last term

consistently. According to him, 'Independent study' consists of various

forms of teaching-learning arrangements in which teachers and learners

carry out their essential tasks and responsibilities apart from one another,

communicating in a variety of ways. Its purposes are to free on-campus

or internal learners from inappropriate class placing or patterns, to provide

off- campus or external learners with the opportunity to continue learning

in their own environments, and developing in all learners the capacity to

carry on self-directed learning, the ultimate maturity required of the

educated person".

Moore (1977)' defined distance teaching as the family of

instructional methods in which the teaching behaviors are performed apart

from learning behavior, including those that in a contiguous situation

would be performed in the learners presence, so that communication

between the teacher and the learner must be facilitated and learner must

be facilitated by print, electronic, mechanical or other devices.

Dohmen (1977) defines distance education as 'a systematically

organized form of self-study in which student counseling, the presentation

of learning material and securing and supervising of students success is

carried out by a team of teachers each of whom has responsibilities. It is

made possible at a distance by means of media which can cover long


Peters (1973)' defined distance education as " a method of

imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes which is rationalized by the

application of division of labor and organizakionai principles as well as by

the extensive use of technical media, specially for the purpose of

reproducing high qualrty teaching material which makes it possible to

instruct great numbers of students at the same time wherever they live. It

is really an industrialized fom of teaching and learning.

Holberg (1981)' defines distance education as that kind of

education which covers ' the various forms of study of all levels which are

not under study at all levels which are not under continuous, immediate

supervision of tutors present with their students in lecture rooms on the

same premises, but which nevertheless, benefit from the planning,

guidance and tuition of a tutorial organisation'

It was Keegan (1986)9 who has attempted to make a synthesis of

most of the definitions of disbnce education. He finds that distance

education has the following important characteristics. First, the quasi-

permanent separation of teacher and learner throughout the length of the

learning process. Secondly, the influence of an educational organhation,

both in planning and preparation of learning materials and in the provision

of student support senrices. Thirdly, the use of technical media, print

media, video media or computer, to unite teacher and learner and carry

the content of the cause. Fourthly, the provision of two -way

communication so that the student may benefit from even initiate a

dialogue and finally, the quasi-pemanent absence of a learning group

throughout the length of the learning process so that people are usually

taught as individuals and not in groups, with the possibility of occasional

meeting for both didactic and socialization purpose. In addition, he finds

that there are two other socio -cultural determinants which are necessary

pre-conditions and necessary consequences of distance education, viz (a)

the presence of more industrialized features than in conventional oral

education, and b) privatization of institutional learning. Distance

education, thus represents distance teaching plus distance learning. One

must also recognize that the concept of distance education is basically a

democratic idea (IGNOU, m I D E )

Why Distance education

As ~harrna(1986)~~
has pointed out, Distance education is being

called up on to meet some of the fett-needs in several countries all over

the world. The nature of felt-needs differs from country to country,

depending upon the stage of its development, but the need for Distance

education is being recognized both in developed and developing countries

for a variety of reasons. For instance, in all countries, it is felt that

equality of opportunities for education should be provided, and that there

should be greater access to higher education (Selim, 1986)~~'Those who

have missed educational opportunities earlier should have a second

chance. More over, there is a need to provide continuing education to

meet the changing requirements of people working in various walks of

fife. I n view of the changed circumstances, there is a need for providing

life long educational opportunities for working people and housewives.

These two requirements exist in all countries. I n developing countries,

there is a need to meet the shortages of technical manpower. It is also

realized that education should be made relevant to the needs of the

country. Further, the quality of education has to be improved. In view of

certain limitations of the form of education, it is increasingly realized that

Distance education can meet some of the educational needs in all the

countries, irrespective of their ideologies or stages of development. (Ram

Reddy, 1988)l2

The Genesis of Distance education

A few words about the genesis and development of distance

education will be highly contextual. It is a fact that distance education was

born out of pressing social compulsions, dynamics of change and new

cukures. Zf we trace the genesis of distance education, we wiH find that

the earlier forms of this innovative system of teaching/ learning were the

instructive letters in the Old Testament and some other works in early

Greek-Roman history. The genera\ belief, however, has been that the

modern history of correspondence instrution began in 1840 with Isaac

Pitman's shorthand course for distance students through the Penny Post,

when Uniform Penny Postage was introduced in the U.K. Nevertheless,

some researchers have traced the forerunners of the distance education

of today to 1833 when a private teacher of English taught composition by
post, providing two-way communication, which is the predominant

characteristic of Distance education. In 1856, a Schml of Modem

Languages established by Longenscheidt and Toussaint started teaching

foreign languages through correspondence.

In the U.S.A, the first efforts to organize correspondence

instruction were made in 1873. Later on, the idea of a land grant college

with a campus extending to the State boundaries resulted in the

establishment of correspondence course in some universities in 1890.

Although correspondence education played only a limited role in the

format secondary system, colleges and universities, it has been more

expensive in the U.S.A than in any other country. In Europe, pioneering

work was alone done in Germany and Sweden in 1890 with then

establishment of Fern Lehrinstitute in Berlin and Hemods in Sweden.

With the onset of the 2oth century, a number of correspondence

instruction schools were set up throughout Europe.

In Russia, correspondence Study became the main form of

university level studies by early 1960s-mor students studied through

correspondence course than through the regular classroom instruction in

colleges and universities. I n Japan, over a million students are studying

through correspondence courses. I n Australia and New Zealand,

correspondence instruction came to be used in the compulsory school

system to teach children who had never been to a classroom. In England,

a number of private correspondence colleges were set up t o coach

students for various school and university examination.

The establishment of some international forums for distance

education promoted the widespread acceptance of correspondence

courses. One such organization is the International Council for Distance

Education (ICDE). The credit for establishing the international council for

correspondence Education (Later renamed as ICDEin 1938) in 1938, goes

to Mr.J.W.Gibson who was for many years the Director of High School

Correspondence Instruction at Victoria British Columbia and in Canada.

The international council is officially affiliated to UNESCO with category 'A'.

International non-governmental relations and co-operates closely with the

United Nations. Acting as a co coordinating body, the ICDE m v e s to

promote knowledge of and improvement in, open/distance education

through out the world. ICDE provides for its member institutions

consukancies and advices at reduced costs. Further, it offers

opportunities for building strategic alliances as a global broker for

finalizing the programmes of member institutions.

ICDE has established various 'interest groups'. One such group is

called the ICDE Women's' International Network. Which offers

opportunities to meet and deliberate on special issues. Moreover, ICDE

has close working relations with a number of associations of

openfdistance education. Some of them are European distance education

Network(EDEN). Association of Asian Open Universities (AAOU), National

University Continuing Education Association (NUCEA) ,U.S.A, Open and

Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA): distance education

Association of Southern Africa (DEASA): West African Association of

Distance Education (WAADE): Canadian Association for Distance

education.(CAD) : United States Distance Learning Council (USDLC) : Latin

American Network for Development in Distance education(REDEAD):

Nowegian Association for Distance Education (NADE) Distance education

Association of New Zedand (DEANZ) etc. ICDE has its permanent

international headquarters in Gjerdrums, Norway.

Commenweatth Of Learning (COL)

The Commonwealth Of Learning (CQL) belongs to a new

generation of international organizations, occupies a unique place among

international agencies, dedicated to cooperation in the field of education.
Established in 1988, by the Comrnonweatth Heads of Governments to

promote the use of distance education in the service of Human Resource

Development in member countries, it can claim to be the first

intergovernmental institution with a specific mandate to mobilize the vast

potential of Open and Distance Learning to the needs of the Educational

endeavor. The memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by the

Heads of Government, comprehensively articulates the scope and purpose

of the organization. The purpose of the agency is to create and widen

access to opportunities for learning, by promoting cooperation betwen

universitis, colleges and other educational institutions throughout the

commonwealth, making use of the potential offered by distance education

and by the application of communication technologies to education. The

agency's activities aim to strengthen member countries' capacities to

develop a human resource required for their economic and social

development, and will give priority to those developmental needs to which

commonwealth cooperation can be applied. It is this interface of Open

Learning with technology that provides COL with its twin purposes; (1)

widening access to education by making use of distance education, and

(2) the application of communication technologies to education. For the

realization of t h e purposes, the organization articulated appropriate

strategic objectives.

As a commonwealth organization, its jurisdiction extends to all

parts of the commonwealth. But the four major developing regions;

African, Asian, Caribbean and South East Asia-Pacific, are identified as

principal theatres of Cot's activity. The developed countries of the

commonwealth, like Australia, Britain and Canada are involved mostly as

providers of funding and expertise. I n the sector of communications

technologies, the organization's tasks are directed towards advising on

appropriate technologies for different contexts; model building in

techniques of developing electronic media materials and plain the general

advocacy role. On the issue of course materials, in the initial years ttretbe

was the need to transfer materials developed by one institution to another

and COL plays the facilitator's role both in acquiring such materials and in

devising the necessary copyright and licensive modalities. Alongside this

practice, the strategy of strengthening the capability of individual

institutions to develop their own course material is pursued through

funding consultancy services and workshops in countries and regions. The

task of training distance education personnel constitutes a good part of its


The promotion of distance education component in the

conventional universities, thus consolidating the dual mode capabilities of

institutions, goes hand in hand with extending support to exclusively

distance mode agencies like open universities. Not only are its efforts

directed towards evolving alternative policies in its advocacy role for open

learning, it also partakes the character of an executive and implementing

agency in so far as it heips client institutions evolve policy agenda and

also undertakes follow-up activities.

Global Perspective of Distance education
It may be interesting to examine the regional profile of the distance

education . The regions are arranged in the alphabetical order of their



In most of the countries in the African region, the educational level

of a majority of the people continues to be relatively low. A majortty of

the school children were either under trained or untrained. Considering

the necessity of training, the in-service teachers and the future need of

employing large numbers of properly trained teachers to cope with the

programmes of expanding the educational facilities, a number of countries

like Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Lesotho, Guyana, Ethiopia and

Ghana organized distance education courses for the training of teachers.

The first correspondence college in Africa was setup at Braaavilfe

in 1962. At present, there are over 122 institutes using the distance

education system. Later, Distance Education Institutions were established

in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. Those institutions have set a fine

example fur collaboration in developing distance education courses t o

cater to the educational needs of the people in the three countries.

Similarty, the Distance education programme of the Namibian Extension

unit, a non-profit educational institution catering mainly for the

educational needs of the South-West Africa Peoples' oraganisaSan(SW0
of Namibia). The educational rewurces center for refugees fmm South

Africa and Zimbabwe adopted the distance teaching methodology in 1981

for preparing refugees for the government examinations.

In July 1983, Nigeria established a National Open University

attracting 24000 applicants for admission, but, unfortunately, it was

suspended by the militarj regime, on may 8tn, 1984. However, the

correspondence and Open Studies Institute (COSI)established during the

1973-74 in the university of Lagos, Nigeria is playing a vital role in

spreading distance education owing to the increasing number of refugees

from Ethiopia and other countries who arrived in the Eastern Region of

Sudan, the Sudan Open Learning University was established in 1984. The

unit was created through the help of the International Extension College,

U.K. Zimbabwe, got into distance education in a big way by establishing

the Zimbabwe Distance Education College in 1980.

The establishment of the University of South Africa (UNISA) was

another milestone in the history of distance education in South Africa. In

January I946 UNISA started to provide distance education programmes to

off campus students. It offers educational opportunities in diploma,

degree ranging from undergraduate to doctorate level . For admission to

undergraduate programmes ,the candidates must hold


The premium of giving proper training to the in-service teachers as

well as the p r o s p e e teachers is a problem not only of the African

Countries. It is in fact a universal problem and Asia is no exception. Most

of the countries in Asian region have adopted the latest innovations of

distance education and established open universities. I n this context, it is

useful to discuss the distance education scenario of some of the Asian


To meet the emerging educational needs, the government of

Bangladesh established the Bangladesh Institute of Distance

Education.(BIDE) under the Ministry of Education. The Institute was

intended to serve as a new nucleus for an open university. Recently, the

government has established the Bangladesh Open University (BOU) to

which Bangladesh Institute of Distance Education (BIDE) was merged.

BOU will provide not only higher education, but will also cover other

educational and training needs for human resources dwelopment. The

primary objectives of BOU is 'to expand all levels of education, knowledge

and society by a diversity of means, including the use of communication

technology" (BQU Act, 1992)

Increasing Population, the necessity to expand the theoretical

background of people, upgrade the nititional sMlls of workers and broaden

the awareness of each Chinese on the Cultural Revolutions necessitated

the establishment of correspondence education in China in dual mode

universities. During 1960s, T.V Universities were set up in Beijing,

Shanghai, Shenyang and some other cities in order to provide a

convenient means of adult education. The socialist modernization project,

which demanded extensive education facilities for the people, led to the

establishment of the Central Radio and Television University.(CRTUV) in

Beijing in 1978 which is at present one of the largest distance education

institutes in the world with nearly two million students on its rolls. There

are 43 provincial Radio and Television universities, 595 Branch Schools

and 1500 work Stations which offer distance education programmes

nationwide, mainiy through Radio and Television.

In Shangai, there is a television Universtty, the Shanghai Television

University. It is an inststih&ion
of adutt higher education under Shanghai

Municipality and is atso one of the eartiest radio and television universities

in China. It was jointly founded on April 6", 1960 by East China Normal

University. Fudan University, East China Chemical Engineering Instihrte

and few other universities in Shanghai. SrVU has been offering courses in

Science and Engineering, liberal arts, medicine, agriculture and economic

management etc. at the undergraduate and sub undergraduate levels.

The National Open University established in August fst, 1986 began

telecasting and broadcasting courses in November la, 1986.

Despite considerable expansion in formal educational system,

Indonesia could not cope w-kh the explosive increase in the demand for
tertiary education by the high school graduates. To meet this need,

universities Terbuka (UT), the 45'" State UniveMty in Indonesia, was

established in 1984 as a distance teaching institution. Apart from the self-

instructional learning materials, the universrty provides tutoriats and

general lectures on radio and television, for which the satellite facilities

are used. The U.T is not only responsible for expanding educational

opportunities but it has atso the responsibility to strengthen the

government's commitments to improve the quality of education and to

make education more relevant to the national development needs. The

president of the Republic of Indonesia in his inaugural address at the U.f

stated: "due to the wide and scattered archipelago, U.T is an appropriate

response to the need of increasing equality of opportunity to higher

The University level correspondence courses in Japan, more often

them not, are regular courses within the framework of conventional

universities and they form part of the parent faculties. However, the

operation of correspondence courses is carried out by the Correspondence

Education Division. The business sector and industries used

correspondence education to re-educate the employees, training and

retraining of teachers .etc. In 1978, the National Centre for Development

of Broadcast Education was established as a cooperative organization of

national universities under the direct control of the ministry of education.

This was a planned step towards the establishment of the university of the

Air of Japan (UAI), Japan's first independent single- mode distance

education institution in 1985.

Correspondence education in Korea began in the form of non-credit

and non=degree correspondence courses around the year 1930. Later on,

when conventional universities could not accommodate the evergrowing

numbers of university aspirants, the Seoul National Universrty established

a Department of Correspondence Courses in 1972, offering junior college

level courses. I n 1982, the department was elevated to the status of and

independent university- the Korea Air and Correspondence University.

This is presently known as the Korea National Open Universtty. The

estimated annual intake is over 70,000 students.

..... .. ... ........
, .., , ..

I n Malaysia, the university Sains Malaysia established in 1971 at

Penang took the initiative of organizing off-campus academic programmes

to provide opportunities for university education to a d u b and also to cape

with the increasing demands for higher education. There are also some

private correspondence course institutes which offer various school level,

commercial and vocational courses. Stanford college Group has in

particular been very active in catering to the needs of people for such

causes in Singapore and Malaysia.

In its search for new systems to widen the access to education for
different sections of the society, the government of Pakistan found
distance education an innovative and highly useful system to supplement

the formal education system. Distance education, as such, is not totally

new to the country. In its earlier forms of external studies and

correspondence education, distance education existed in the country, but

its scope, objectives and methodology were narrow and limited. Distance

education through the open university system was thought to be the most

appropriate system to meet to a great extent, the demand for a wider

educational opportunities. I n pursuance of the provisions of the

Educational Policy (1972-80) the national assernbty passed the enabling

act in May 1974, and the Aflama Iqbal Open Universityf then named
People's Open Universrty) came in to existence in June 1974. The
university operates through, besides the headquarters, 30 regional centers

and 425 study centedrnake shift centers. The AIOU is claimed to be the

only open institution in the region which has a complete structure of

distance education, starting from literacy programmes to higher education

and research programmes.

Distance education system was launched in the Philippines in 1976

to reach 3,50,000teachers spread over 7,100 islands in the archipelago. A

special feature of distance education in the Philippines is that curriculum

materials are generally initiated by the 'consumers' and then revised and

edited by experts. Courses are developed according to their relevance to

social needs and are generally application oriented. The requisite number

of credits earned by doing the course leads to the award of a degree. No

learner in the distance education system in the Philippines fails, as it is a

self-placed learning system in which the learner receives final rating after

the completion of the package of self-learning modules.

Apart from the need for expansion of educational facilities for those

who were unable to go to the conventional universities, Sri tanka faced a

major problem of training a large number of teachers. To meet this

demand the Government set up three special institutions during the

seventies- External Service Agency(ESA) to take over the extension

programmes of the universities, the Institute of workersr education to

extend opportunities for university education beyond the normal

undergraduate category and the Sri b n k a Institute of Distance Education

(SUDE) to take over the Extension services. Programmes of the Ceylone

Technical College. The open university of Sri Lanka(0USL) was

established in 1980 through the amalgamation of the ESA and SUDE. It

was the same legal and academic status as the other universities in Sri

Lanka. It prepares it's own courses and offers degrees, diplomas and

certificates. The university's main campus is twated on a 40-acre site at

Nawala, about two miles Southeast from center of Colombo.

Among the institutions which Thailand can take legitimate pride in

is the Sukkothai Thamrnathirat Open University (STOU). It was

established as a single mqde distance education university by Royal

Charter on 5 September 1978. It was established as a national university

under the Ministry of University Affairs in response to individual and

societal needs. The university is situated on a 54-acre site in Nonthaburi

Province 18 Kilometers north of Bangkok. The university provides three

kinds of courses- Bachelors Degree cou~sesand Basic Rural Development

courses. The estimated annual intake is 70,000 to 80,000 students. There

are 10 certificate programmes and 20 bachelor Degree programmes. The

total number of courses is 448.


With a small population scattered widely over vast areas, distance

education proved a boon in meeting the individual educational needs of

the Australian Community. Disbnce education courses had been started

at all levels during the first decade of the twentieth century. Australia also

has an active regional association of distance education called the

Australian South Pacific External Studies Association (ASPESA) to have a

vigil over the functioning of various distance education centers. This

Association is now known as Open and Distance Learning Association of

Australia. Some of the well-known universities/institutes providing

Distance education in Australia are Deakin, New England, Murdoch

Queensland, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technofogy and Gippsland

Institute of Advanced Education.

New Zealand

New Zealand is known for a well-developed system of Distance

education providing education at aH levels. A noteworthy feature of

distance education in this country is that most of the institutes work in

coilaboration and avoid aggressive competition. The New Zealand

Technical Correspondence Institute, the largest distance education

institute in the Australian Region offers a wide range of technical and

vocational education at a distance. I n addition, the New Zealand

correspondence school has been serving the needs of students in remote

areas through packaged correspondence lessons, school broad castes and

television programmes.

In New Zealand, distance education was first introduced when the

New Zealand correspondence School (NZCS) was established in 1922. Also

the center for university Extramural Studies at the Massery University, the

open polytechnic and the universlly of Mago provide Distance education



In '1974, a Department of Extension Studies was established in the

university of Paua New Guinea. Along with the college of External Studies

in Port Moresby, it has instituted varied distance education courses to

meet the educational demands of the people. The Department of External

Studies is based in the Education Faculty at Waigant Campus, Which is the

main campus of the university. In addition, there are eleven university

extension centers.

Europe has seen rapid strides in the development of Distance

education during the last few decades of the 2O'h century. The status of

distance education in some of the European countries is discussed here.

f !!!!and
The establishment of the open University at Milton Keynes in

England in 1969 turned out to be significant milestone in the

development of distance education. The open university was established

by Royal Charter in 1969 as an independent and autonomous institution

authorized to confer its own degrees. The university aims to provide a

second chance to adults, who have not received higher education and

fuller professional training and qualification for those who prefer to study

while continuing to work and to contribute substantially to continuing

education in the U.K. The university is located on a 70-acre site in Milton

Keynes, Buckinghamshire and, has offices in 13 regions covering the whole


International Extension College (IW Cambridge, is another well-

known distance education inmution which in addition to offering distance

education courses provides consuttancy and expertise to some developing

countries particularly in Africa, for organizing distance education

Besides, there are a large number of private correspondence

institutions in England, preparing external students for various public

school /university examinations, and offer a variety of correspondence

courses. The council for the accreditation of correspondence colleges

looks after the maintenance of standards by these institutions which

account for more than 5 million students.


In France, university teaching a t a distance was originally designed

for initial training to upgrade teachers, but, the scope was widened in due

course of time. By 1986, eighteen formal universities were renamed as

Radio Universities. The center de Tele Ensiegnrnent Universitaire provides

university level courses have 2,3 and 4 year duration. The center National

dJEnsiegnment a Distance (CNED)is a state institution under the authority

of the Ministw of Education. The CNED comprises eight different centers

in France. It offers opportunities of Distance Higher Education

programmes, singje courses and foundation courses'at all levels in France

and abroad.

Considering the increasing demands for people, the state and

federal governments in Germany realised the need for their involvements

in the development of Distance education . This resulted in the

establishment of the German Institute of Distance Education (Deutsches

Institute fur Fernstudien, DIFF) at Tubingen, in 1965. It is an institute for

research and development in the field of continuing education.

I n the wake of pressures from students seeking admissions to

institutions of higher learning and the international trends in distance

education, the State of North Rhine Westfalia took the initiative of

establishing a distance teaching university, the Fern Univerbtat, at Hagen

in November 1974. It of& degree and other courses to over 20,000

German -speaking students.


In Italy, the consrorzio per I Universita a Distanza (CUD) was

established in 1984 with the purpose of providing a distance university

system for Italy. It is a consortium established under the Italian law.

Members include universities ,multinational companies and government-

related organizations. The head quarters of the consortium is in Rertde,

Cosenza, in the South of Italy, and there is also an office in Rome.

To meet the increasing need for higher education, the Dutch

Government took a policy decision in 1971 to make flexible and diversified

h higher education available to the people. This ultimately led to the

setting up of the Netherlands Open Universrty which became functional in

September 1984 with a network of 18 study units. The European

Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU)n was established

on 23'* January 1987 by the principals of Europe's major distance
teaching institutions to foster co-operation between education through

distance teaching methodology. The mission of EADTU is to promote and

support the creation of a European network for higher-level distance

education teaching to the development of the European Open University



Correspondence education in Noway is provided by non-public

correspondence schools. The government passed a low on

correspondence education in 1948 to regulate correspondence education

throughout the country. This resulted in setting up a government body,

the council for correspondence education, to advice the government on

matters concerning correspondence education which is financed by the

State. The correspondence schools in 1967. This association, which has

been playing a very effective role in the development of Distance

education in Norway, decided in 1985 to change its name to Ncr~egian

Association of Distance Education (NADE). The university of Oslo offers 18

courses through which the distance education mode. Through founded in

1811, its activity in the fields of distance education started very recently.


Distance education in the erstwhile USSR was born out of the

necessity to train thousands of volunteers. Through distance education,

illiteracy was completety eradicated within two decades. Correspondence

courses in the then U.S.S.R are organized on an All Union basis, in so far

as syllabus and course materials are concerned. The universities or

polytechniques follow the national syllabus and the course materials is

produced and distributed by the ministry of education. The

universities/instituUons in different republics get the course materials

translated and may supplement the basic course materials according to

local needs. There are over 500 correspondence facutties or departments

attached to various institutions throughout them U.S.S.R. Correspondence

students are required to take a year more than the formal channel

students to complete a course of study.

The Russia Open University (ROW) founded in October 1990, is

both a scientific and an educational organization established by the union

of Soviet Teacher Innovators, the Academy of Sciences of the erstwhile

USSR and the Soviet Culture Foundation. The mission of the university is

to carry out research, design projects and to implement achievements.

The primary purpose of ROU is to provide access to higher education to all

those students who are admitted to and excelled in the appropriate

secondary schools. ROU provides access to education for people for all

ages who may wish to learn for any reason.

In Spain, Distance education received a big boost with the

establishment of the Universided Nacional De Education a Distance

(UNED) in 1972. The specific aim of the university is to widen access to

higher education for the disadvantaged social groups. The universe
offers three academic programmes, viz., admission courses, degree

courses and in service training courses. It also provides facilities for

research studies. The university has set up an educational science

institute for carrying out institutional research concerning its educational


The history of Distance education in Sweden goes back to 1898

when H.S Hermods started a correspondence school. Being encouraged

by the success of Hermods, a number of other schools came into

existence, notably Brevskolan, A correspondence school of the Swedish

National Defence was also setup. By 1966, with the merger of Norsk

Korrespondenceshok Industright (NKI), Hennods became the largest

teaching i n w ~ o nof the world with the yearly enrolment of nearly

1,50,000students. Later on, Hermods was integrated into the State -

owned Liber Group of companies and came to be called Liber Hermods.

Swedish Universities started distance education programmes for

university level courses in 1968 as a supplemenira~ybm of Study like the

evening classes and local external courses. As in Australia, the univerjw

departments look after the noniampus as well as the distance educafion

courses. The Swedish Association for Distance educafion (SADE) was

founded in 1984. Distance education is an integrated, departmental

activity mainly carried out on a small scale in a dual-mode structure.

Distance education at post secondary level is now well established

in Sweden. Post secondary distance education is charactorised by a

highly decentralized system of Institutional structures, production and

delivery systems vary from university to universrty. Each department

engaged in distance education is independently responsible for the course
programme and for media and methods used. There is no central control

of distance education and nor does the individual university impose any

restrictions on the liberty of the individual department to organize its

distance teaching. distance teaching forms an integra! part of
departmental activities and as such a 'Distance teacher' usually has

'conventional teaching' duties as well.


The impact of Distance education can be seen in the Middle East

countries like Jordan, Iran and Israel. Jordan set up an open university

named At-Quds Open University in Amman. Payame Noor University (PNU)

was founded in Iran in 1987 to challenge the staff shortage of schools and

the pressure of numbers at the tertiary level. The university operates

throughout the country and maintains 72 active study centers. Israel set

up an open univers'w of Israel in 1974 to provide pre-academic,

vocational, and adult education courses. The universrty has an enrolment

of approximately 20,000 students. There are some 80 study centers

throughout Israel and 650 tutors involved in the delivery of courses.

North America
North America has a fairly large network of Distance education

offering school and universrty level courses and also a wide variety of

continuing education and non-credit centers. A brief commentary on the

system of Distance education in North America is given here.

Canada is one of the important regions in North America as far as

distance education is concerned. The Athabasca universtty, conceived in

1970, at Edmonton, marked a significant development in the f eld of

distance education in Canada, In 1978,Athabasca University was formally

established under universities Act to provide higher education

oppoaunities to adults who were deprived of this privilege at the

conventional universities. The university is partly modeled after the

UKOU. Housed at Athabasca Village, it offers four kinds of Distance

education programmes, viz, degree programmes, transfer programmes,
nun - programme studies and visiting student programmes. The university

has brought out a quarterly Research in Distance education. Instruction is

imparted through home study courses, television programmes, seminar-

supported tele-conference and reading courses.

Canada has more over, a number of correspondence schools which

were set up mostly on account of shortage of teachers. One of the welt-

known schools of such category is the Alberta Correspondence school

which was establ~hedin 1923. In 3une 1983, the Canadian Assuciation for

Distance Education (CADE) was formed. CADE brings out a biannual

international journal called Journal of Distance Education since 1986.

American distance education programmes are known for their great

diversity in respect of size, educational approach and administrative

procedures. Though the rate of distance education in the U.S.A is Iimited

one, it is more extensive than in most of the other countries. The largest
user of distance education is the U.S federal government, especially the
Armed Forces. The united States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) is a

unique education organization offering an extensive array of

correspondence courses to enable the armed forces to acquire secondary

and post secondary occupational and traditional education.

The area in which distance education plays an important role in the

U.S.A is adult and continuing education. The fast growth of knowledge,

particularly in the professional fields led to popularization of the concept

of continuing or life long education. The induction of highly ~ophisucated

machines which resutted in greater leisure to the working population atso

contributed to this popularity, because the working people wanted to

utilize their leisure hours to enrich their knowledge and skills or to acquire

new skills for improving their career prospects. This obviously led to the

remarkable development of distance education in the U.S.A.

The extension departments of the universities and independent

study institutes provide a wide range of vocational, technical, and

oriented-oriented coutses, besides, continuing education courses to keep

up to date in their profession. The universities also have started providing

distance education. The following universities have well known

correspondence institutions1 directorates/departments. Bringham Young

University, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, Indiana

University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota and

University of California. The American Journal of Distance Education is

being brought out from the Pennsybania State Universrty.

The Institution of correspondence courses for the visually

handicapped at Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois, indeed is

a taudable feature of distance education in the U.S.A. Almost all

independent study programmes in the U.S.A are wholly or targely self-

supporting. There are two well-known national level

associations/organi;lations in the U.S.A which are devoted to the

development, collaboration accreditation and maintenance of students of

distance educafion programmes. These are (a) National Home Study

Council (NHSC) based in Washington and recognized by the Federal

Government and (b) National University continuing Education

Association.(NUCEA), Washington.


Among the countries which have made good progress in Distance

education in the Central and South American Region are Costa Rica,

Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. Here, an attempt is made to examine

the Distance education developments in the first two centers onty.

Distance education in Costa Rica has been taken a leap forward
with the establishment of Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) in 1977.

The University has developed a series of professionally oriented diplama

and degree programmes. The university also launched some extension

courses. The annual enrolment is approximately 7000. Since 1980,the

university HIV/AIDS been collaborating with the Ministry of Public

Education in developing course materials and training tutors for the

Ministry. Thus, in addition to the headway made towards the provision of

higher education, it was hoped that the university would fulfill two other

functions. It should make higher eduMion accessible both to those who

could not take advantage of traditional course, and to the agricultural and

working population.
Venezuela has taken distance education in a big way to meet the

educattonal needs of her people. In pursuance of this, the government of

Venezuela decided to establish a distance teaching university in 1975,

and appointed a planning committee for the proposed Universidad

Nacional Abierta (UNA). The university was established in 1977 with the

twin objectives of training professionals in areas which are the priorities

for national development and offering educational opportunities to those

who have been able to attend traditional higher education institutions.

There is one national center in Caracus and 20 regional centers are

set up through out the country. A center for excellence in distance

education has been set up at UNA. It oflers mostly formal academic

programmes. But prior 10 admissions into those programmes, the

students are required to pass introductory courses which aim at orienting

them to the practice of learning at a distance. After completing the

introductory courses, the students can go in for their degree programmes

which comprise general studies followed by professionaf studies.

From the above discussion, it is clear that Distance education has

been globally accepted as a major strategy for meeting the requirements

of the unreached and marginalized. It may be useful to examine the

profile of some of the mega open universities which has played an

important role in the edlrmtional histay of rn2n.i' czufitrie~.mere dre ten

open universities which have been categorized as mega open universities

of the world in the seventeenth World Conference of the ICDE (1999) in

Birmingham, U.K. Mega open universities are those institutions which

have a student enrolment over 1,00,000.

The origin of Distance Education in India and Kerala has been

examined elaborately in chapter one and a repetition is quite irrelevant.

The establishment of IGNOU is really a mile stone in the history of

distance education in India.

IGNOU - The Path breaking innovation

The establishment Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in

1985, was really a path breaking innovation in distance education in India.

The very purpose of establishing IGNOU, according to the concerned act

50, 1985 of the Parliament was the introduction and promotion of Open

University and distance education systems in the educational pattern of

the countrj and for co-ordination and determination of standards in such


The major objectives of IGNOU, as specified in the Act 50, are to

1. advance and disseminate learning and knowledge by a diversity

of means, including the use of any communication technology,

to provide opportunities for Higher Education to a large

segment of the population

2. to promote the educational well being of the communrty


3. to encourage the Open University and Distance education


The University endeavors through education, research, training

and extension to play a positive role in the development of the

country, and based on the rich heritage of the country, to promote and

advance the culture of the people of India and its human resources.

Towards this end, the University shall (a) strengthen and diversify the

degree, certificate and diploma courses related to the needs of

employment and necessary for building the economy of the country on

the basis of its natural resources;(b)Provide access to Higher

Education for large segments of the population, and in particular, the

disadvantaged groups such as those living in remote and rural areas

including working people, housewives and other adults who wish to

upgrade or acquire knowledge through studies in various fields ;

(c)Promote acquisition of knowledge in a rapidly developing and

changing society and to continually offer opportunities for upgrading

knowledge, training and skills in the context of innovations, research

and discovery in all fields of human endeavors; (d)Provide an

innovative system of universrty level education, flexible and open, in

regard to methods and pacing of learning, combination of courses,

eligibility for enrdment, age of entry, conduct of examination and

operation of programmes with a view to promote learning and

encourage excellence in new fields of knowledge; (e)Contribute to the

improvement of the educational syaern in India by providing a non-

formal channel complementaly to the formal system and encouraging

transfer of credits and exchange of teaching staff by making wide use

of texts and other software deveioped by the University; (QProvide

education and training in various arts, crafts and skills of the country,

raising their quality and improving their availability to the people;

(g)Provtde or arrange training of teachers required for such activities

or institutions; Provide Post-Graduate courses of study and

research(h)Provide suitable post-graduate courses of study and

promote research; (i)Provide the counseling and guidance to its

students; andCj)Promote national integration and the integrated

development of the human personaltty through its policies and

prog rarnmes.

The University strives to fulfill the above objects by a diversity of

means of Distance and Continuing Education. It function in

cooperation with the existing Universities and institutions of higher

learning and make full use of the scientific knowledge and new

educational technology to offer a high quality of education, which

matches contemporary needs.

I I e challenging mandate given to the University has provided the
frmework for the University's endeavors in fine-tuning curriculum

design and development to meet societal needs. me spectrum of

courses offer range Rom awareness building and knowledge based

programmes to technical, occasional and profesioml development

programmes. It is offering 62 academic programs (2000) ranging from

certificate to Doctor of Philosophy. The University in priority areas such

as agriculture, natural resource management, occasional and skit1

training, awareness programmes and specific projects have initiated

extension activities in literacy, development communication and

training of rural youth. Agro-based training programmes have been

initiated in mushroom cultivation and poultry farming. Modules have

also been prepared for promoting parental awareness of the primary

education programme. To serve the needs of the disabled the

University collaborates with the Rehabilitation Council of India to

design and develop special education and rehabilitation programmes

through the multimedia distance mode.

As a step towards reaching the un reached and towards women's

empowerment, the university collaborate with the Department of

Women and Child Development and launched the certificate

programme in empowering women through self-help groups. other

leading projecb are participatory management of displacement,

resettlement and rehabilitation, HIV family education and social

welfare, programme in youth development work. The Univerriw has

signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Maruti Udyog for

setting up Vidyavahini and with Army, Navy and Air Force to promote

single window operations, for learners from the defence services.

As systems leader in Open and Distance Learning, the University

spearheads research-based innovations. Three types of systemic research

have been conceived in Open and distance learning: theoretical,

developrnentat and evaluation based for faculty development, institutional

growth and quality assurance respectively. Research degree programmes,

research grants schemes, research fellowships, assmiate ship scheme and

research publication scheme are the research plans in IGNOU.

Apex Body

The University has a unique distinction of combining the

conventional role of a University with that of being the apex body in the

promotion, coordination and maintenance of standards in distance

education. The University has established the Distance education Council

(DEC) to promote initiatives for the coordinated development of distance

education in the cuuntry. In essence, the University performs its role as

an apex body by adopting the approach of leading by example and

regutations by guidance. I n fulfillment of its mandate for maintenance of

mndards, DEC has collaborated with National Assessment and

Accreditation Council (NAAC) in the assessment and accrediWion of open

universities and other distance education institutions. DEC has also

entered into MOUs with other apex body, like All India Council for

Technical Education (AICTE), in pursuit of excellence in technical and

management education through the distance mode. In order to encourage

development initiatives, DEC provide financial support to state open

universities. It also provide support to Correspondence Course Institutes

(CCIs) of conventional Universities for the transformation of existing

course materials into self-instructional materials, students support

services, staff training and development, quality assurance measures and

use of electronic media. The key initiatives of DEC cover vital areas such

as staff development and training, work norms, personnel policies,

improvement in course, cost-effectiveness of open learning systems and

framing guidelines for offering specific professional programmes. As part

of its resources sharing initiative, the self-instructional study material

prepared by the University has been made available to State Open

Universities and Correspondence Course InstRutes and other educational


The University has strengthen extending its programmes and

courses to the nationals of other developing countries as well as to the

large number of expatriate and non-resident Indians living in these

countries. Besides the Gulf countries - Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, A l Ain,
Doha, Muscat and Kuwait - where academic programmes are on offer

since 1997, the Universrty is offering its programmes in the Indian Ocean

Islands - Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles. In Seychelles and Maldives,

besides the Bachelors Preparatory Programme(BPP) and Bacheiors Degree

Programme (BDP) programmes, the 0.Sc. Nursing programme is offered

to ensure that the majorrty of diploma holders in these island nations

become graduates in nursing. Agreemen& have been signed with Hanoi

Open University, Vietnam and University of Distance education, Myanmar

for offering academic programmes in the respective countries. The

Postgraduate Diploma in Distance education (PGDDE) and the Master of

Arts in Distance education (MADE) were developed by Staff Training and

Research in Distance education ( STRIDE) and these programmes are on

offer in India and abroad. Students from the Commonwealth countries of

Asia, Africa, South Pacific and the West Indies have been admitted to the

programmes under the Rajiv,Gandhi Fellowship Scheme jointly launched,

with Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

(RGF) .

The Inter-University Staff hchange Scheme in Distance education,

institute for offering Visiting Fellowships to academics and other

categories of staff working in Open Universities in Asia is being initiated.

Under this scheme academics from Iran, Bangladesh and Hong Kong have

been chosen to work on small projects.

Technology Support

Technology-enhanced learning has a critical role in distance

education. The technology media can effectively transcend the barriers of

time and space between teacher and learner. Using the technological

tools to build interactivity into the learning process is undoubtedly a

critical input in facilitating learner retention. The University uses a range

of media to enrich the learning experience and foster interactivity. The

Electronic Media Production Centre (EMPC), established in collaboration

with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Government of

Japan, is entrusted with the task of production of audio/video materials.

This sophisticated complex is equipped with state-of-the-art production

facilities: digital audio studios, large video studios, Beta cam SP edit

suites, audio editing suites, a large duplication plant, and graphics

facilities. These facilities are available for use by other educational

institutions and State Open Universities.

A unique TV cooperative, and dedicated Educational Channel by

name 'Gyan Darshan' has been launched in collaboration with Ministry of

Human Resources Development (MHRD), Ministry of Information and

Broadcasting, National Council for Educational Research and Training

(NCERT), University Grants Commission (UGC) and other organizations.

I n a significant gesture, EMPC has been identified as the coordinating and

transmitting agency. The 24-hour Gyan Darshan channel telecasts

educational programmes from school level to tertiary level through

different cable operators in the country for wider outreach.

Technical arrangements for Gyan Darshan were created. The Earth

Station was set up with a 7.2 rn antenna with arrangements for the play

of pre-taped programmes from the Earth Room station itself while others

can be viewed from Video Studio. Microwave links to enable live relay of

the channel from EMPC to Doordarshan Kendra, Delhi and to source

programmes form the Central Institute of Educational Technology studios

have been installed. One + one non-linear editing, additional Beta cam
VCRs, logo generator to augment the existing system are being procured.

EMPC will be the nodal agency for implementing the Gyan Vani project.

The University is in the process of setting up one FM Channel in 40 cities

in India for education and development. The stations are operated in a

decentralized manner with the help of the State Open Universities,

Directorates of Correspondence Education, and State DDirectorates of

Education. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is

financially supporting the project during the initial stages but these

stations are expected to become viable over a period of five years. I n

order to promote interactivity between learners and resource persons,

one-way video and tow-way audio teleconferencing system has been

under operation through the Training and Development Communication

Channel (TDCC) of ISRO and GYAN Darshan. Teleconferencing sessions

are organized for different Schools of the University and outside
institutions and organizations

Interactive Radio Counseling is a recent concept in distance

learning in India. Careful attention has been given to fostering interaction

between learners and their counselors, resource persons and experts

through phone-in counseting. Interactive radio counseling sessions are

being broadcasted for one hour on every Sunday from 4.00 p.m to 5.00

p.m from '184radio stations all over country.

Virtual Carn~usInitiative

The Virtual Campus Initiative of the School of Computer and

Information Sciences, promotes the use of satellite-based interactive

session supported by CD-ROM and Internet. Through the Virtual Campus

Initiative, the University has taken the first step for providing a purely

digital learning environment- Internet and web based- for its two new

programmes viz Advanced Diploma in Information Technology (ADIT) and

Bachelor in Information Technology (BIT). It is being envisaged that

evaluation for these two programmes would be conducted exclusively

through digital means. In order to meet the goal of the complete

Virtuat Campus under the Virtual Campus Initiative, the University entered

into an agreement with EdExcel Foundation, one of the leading innovative

agencies in education and training in U.K. EdExcel Foundation

incorporates Business and Technology Council (BTEC), the top provider of

applied and vocational qualifications, and London Examinations, one of

the major examining boards in the U.K. Under this agreement, the

University is gaining from their expertise, but substantialh adding to its

resource base.

fhe University is in the process of developing state-of-the-art

computing and communication facilities at its Regional Centres to serve as

Tele-Learning Centres (TLCs). These TLCs provide a total digital learning

environment of ADTT/BTT students. The University has also entered into

an agreement with 12 private entrepreneurs for providing additional Tele-

Learning Centres to its students. It explores the limits of being open in

educational provision through appropriate learner support networks and


Production and dispatch of learnina materiais

The quality of teaming materials developed is contributing to

create a learning society. The learning packages consist of 3342 blocks of

print material, 1051 audiotapes and 1102 videocasettes. 'fhe average

number of copies of the blocks printed in a year is over 10,204,000 and

number of blocks dispatched is over 9,647,000. The study materials are

also verj popular with members of the public and candidates fro the civil

services' exams. The study materials are sold to individuals and

Student Services

The University has created a diversified students services network

responding to the diversity of the learners. Nationwide student services

network consists of 28 Regional Centres and 629 IGNOU Study Centres.

Six Regional Centres have been established in Gangtok, Kohima, Aizwal,

Itanagar, Agartala and Imphal under the project on educational

development of North-Eastern States and Sikkim. Of the 629 Study

Centres, 302 are regular Study Centres, 186 Programme Specific Centres,

22 Recognised Study Centres, 115 special Study Centres for

disadvantaged groups of the society and 4 Minorities (5), Women (29),

Jail Inmates (lo), PhysicaHy disabled (6), Blind (4) and residents of

remote and rural areas (52). A total of 72 work centers have been

operationalised. This network is supported by Regional Directors, assisted

by Coordinators and Academic Counselors .

For providing easy access to programmes and services, further

diversification of the delivery system has been carried out in the form of a

Single Window Operation for organizations employing a large number of

personnel. A scheme of Single Window Operation for the delivery of the

programmes to defence personnel has been operationalised by

establishing Recognised Regional Centres for the Amy, Navy and Air

The Student Services Centre (SSC)at headquarters was established

as a computerized networked Centre for all student support services form

headquarters which include providing infomation, attending to general

queries, grievance redressal, submission of examination forms, and sale of



In many ways evaluation lies at the centre of the teaching-learning

process. It provides 25-30 percentage weightage to continuous internal

assessment by way of periodic assignments, practicals and seminars and

70 to 75 percent to term-end examinations, I n continuous internat

assessment, students are given extensive feedback so that they can

improve their performance on the basis of comments given by their

academic counselors at their study centers. The University conducted

term-end examinations twice in June, and December. 370 examination

centers were activated for conducting examinations. The University for

admission to Management Programmes, Computer Programmes and B.Ed

conducted open mat and other entrance tests.


Finance is the life-blood of any institution. The University is making

efforts to generate more internal resources and e v o k effective systems

of proper utilization of resources. There has been as appreciable

improvement in the generation of internal resources. As against

realization of Rs.54.19 crores during 1998-99 the internal resources

generated during 1999-2000 was Rs.81.42 crores, representing a 40

percent increase in income. The creation of infrastructure can k

considered necessary for the efficient operation of the system. The

University has made significant progress in campus construction,

computerization and provision of library and documentation facilities. In

the open and distance learning system, creating the physical

infrastructure for networks connecting delivery centers with headquarters

is particularly important. This facilitates easy transfer of information and

data for both Regional Centre staff and learners. An intra-campus Local

Area Network was set up at headquarters by the Computer Division instah

several smart switches and hubs at various location for the use of all the

Schools and Divisions. The University is contemplating the extension of

this facility to ali Regional Centres.

The University has a . comprehensive website .The site contains

details of Schools and Divisions, programmes offered by the University

and admission procedures. Some of the examination results immediately

after their declaration have been put on the Web.

Librarv and Documentation

The Library and Documentation Division has a primary role in

providing knowledge support for the preparation of learning materials.

The University bbrary has 89 CD-ROM databases, 133 Microfilms and

more than 15,528 microfiches. The Library is equipped with a

sophisticated server and multimedia computers, microfom, 486

computers, reader-printer, scanner, lipid, laser and colour printers. me

new, upgraded version of LibiSysll has been installed on the powerful

server connecting multimedia computers at the Library with the exisfing

Local Area Network (LAN) of the University. A CD-Net W Sewer 2000

has been procured with the capacrty of stacking 28 CD-ROMs at a time.

The University has undertaken a range of initiatives in human

resource development. Some of the major initiatives include training and

research in distance education, media production, broadcasting and

information technology; development of training modules for enumerators

by School of Continuing Education; up gradation of knowledge and skills

of science teachers in collaboration with UNESCO by School of Science;

and initiatives in teacher education under the auspices of the School of

Education - UNESCO Chair. . It is significant that the latter initiatives

attracted international participation. The promotion of education in

human values is an emerging concern of the University. The University

has envisaged that the entire range of educational programmes would be

enriched with an orientation to human values.

Staff Traininq and Research in Distance education

The Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance education

( m D E ) were established with suppurt :emf-& h r n the CO!., Canada.

The main objectives of STRIDE are to develop training strategies and

training materials to meet the various needs of different types of

individuals and distance teachingltraining institutions and organize and

conduct training and staff development activities primarily in the South

Asian region. It has extended its consubncy services to Bangladesh, Sri

Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, and


m D E endeavors to promote open and distance education at the

fundamental, the experimental and the application levels in order to

constantly enrich the training programmes, and the distance education

system as well as the application of new communication technologies.

SRIDE has undertaken major research projects in the areas of course

design, development , evaluation of training activities and academic

programmes. Within India, STRIDE looks after the training needs of the

academics and ail categories'of the non-academic staff of the University,

its regional centers, and state open universities and also those of the

directorates/departments of correspondence courses or institutes/divisions

functioning within conventional universities . Induction programmes are

conducted for the newly recruited teachers of IGNOU. Round Table

workshops of heads of staff development units of open universities are

organized to chalk out strategies of mutual cotlaboration, to identify

functional areas of focus for staff development and to chalk out action
plans for improving the qualtty of the distance and open learning

system. STRIDE provides training to the faculty of the open universities

to develop self-learning materials and to transform the existing materials

to self-learning materials.

1.Keegan, D (1986) 7he Foundations of Distance Education, Landon,

Croom Helm, p .4

2. Rarnanujam, P R and Kaul M.L (1987) Readings in Distance Education-

I, The Division of Distance Education, IGNOU, New Delhi.

3.IGNOU(mDE)(1999) Growth and Philosophy of Distance Education,

E.S 3.11

4. Wedemeger, C.A (1977 "Independent Study" A.S. Knowles (ed) The

International Encyclopedia of Higher Education 5, 2114--2 132

5. Moore, M.G (1977)On a Themy of Independent Study, Hagen, Fern


6 0 0 hmen, G (1977) Das Fernstudium, Einneues Pedagogisches

Forschungs-und Arbeitsfeld . Tubingeu : DIFF.

7. Peter, 0 (1973) Die DidaMische Strukture des Fernunterrichts.

Unterschungem zu emer industrialisierten. Form des Lerhren's and
Learnens, Weinheim, Beitz

8. Holberg, B (198 1) Status and Trends of DiEtance Education, London,


10. Sharma, M(1986) "Issues in Distance Education" in Di-nce

Educatm, Asian DeveIopment Bank, Manila

11. Selirn, M.C (1986)Distance Education in Asia and Pacific in Distance

Education, Asian Development Bank, Manila

12. Ramreddy. G (1988) "Open Universities : The New Temples of

Learning" in Open Univetsities - 7he ivory towers hrown open
(Ed) G.Ram Reddy, Sterling Publishers, New York, New Delhi.